The Under 19’s moved to within two points of the league leaders with their third win on the bounce thanks to two fantastic strikes from Rob Lehane in United Park on Sunday afternoon.
It was very much an injury depleted squad that made the trip to Drogheda and it showed with the home side starting the game the brighter. City gradually gained the upper hand and there was just 15 minutes gone when Alan Browne headed home Jason Forde’s cross after his initial corner was only half cleared. Daniel Santry came close to extending the lead when Sean Dunne in the host’s goal had to get down smartly to parry his shot from a Rob Lehane cross.
Just minutes later the two players combined again. Santry’s flick on was met by Lehane and his clever flick over his markers head allowed him in on goal, where he drove his shot in off the underside of the crossbar to give the visitors a comfortable 2-0 lead going in at the break.
Drogheda rallied after the break and scored from a corner on 53 minutes when Sean O’Connor bundled home from a corner after his first effort was blocked on the line. The Boynesiders hopes of a comeback were dashed however when a clearing header from a Chris Dineen cross, fell to Rob Lehane at the edge of the area and his first time volley gave Dunne no chance as it flew into the far corner.
Lehane could have wrapped up his hat-trick at the death when one-on-one with the ‘keeper, his lob carried just over the crossbar, but he and his team mates can be satisfied with another deserved victory on the road that puts the side just two points behind joint league leaders Shamrock Rovers and UCD. With just six points separating the top eight teams, it’s clear that this season’s Elite Division will go right down to the wire as it enters the second half of the campaign.
Next weekend, attention swings back again to the Enda McGuill Cup when Athlone Town visit Bishopstown in a Quarter Final match on Saturday afternoon with a 2pm kick off. Although the Midlanders play in the Under 19 Southern Division, they are very much the form team as the only unbeaten team at this grade and will be keen to cause an upset at the home of the reigning cup holders.
Cork City: David Browne, Chris Dineen (Conor O’Driscoll), Coleman Kennedy, Darragh Lucey, Jason Forde (Darragh Corcoran), Alan Browne, Greg Henry, Darren Murphy (Jonathon Hannafin), Roy Kenny, Rob Lehane, Daniel Santry.
Subs not used: Paul White.
Referee: Darragh Keegan.